April 06, 2006

Misreading Rogge (Again)

The IOC executive board is meeting in Seoul this week. In between sessions, president Jacques Rogge had this to say about baseball's possible inclusion on the Olympic programme for 2016:

We still have issues about doping. Progress has been made but not to the level where the Olympic family would accept it.

The Associated Press report makes it sound like Rogge has set a condition for baseball's reinstatement, and the Globe and Mail headline echos the opening paragraph: "Rogge: Baseball needs to address doping prior to reinstatement."

Of course, Rogge very carefully did not say that baseball would be back in if it cleans up its doping problem; and we all know that he cannot say that. Barring a change to the Olympic Charter, the decision on the sports programme will be made by a vote of the IOC members, not by Jacques Rogge. He's free to speculate about what might swing the vote in baseball's favour, but he really can't make any promises — or any threats, for that matter.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Rogge has a gift for this kind of thing.

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